Professional Distributor - 54

The ninja tool dealer

Tool distributor John Loobey's love of martial arts led
him to compete on American Ninja Warrior.

J
BY DAVID BRIERLEY,
MANAGING EDITOR

920-563-1622
David@VehicleServicePros.com

What's
your story?
Have an interesting
experience to
share with your
fellow distributors?
Share it with us!
Contact Managing
Editor David Brierley
at David@
VehicleServicePros.com.

ohn Loobey of Bristol, Tennessee, got
started selling Mac Tools "probably 20
years ago." In 2016, after 17 years running
his successful business, Loobey decided it
was time to retire ... at least partially. Now, as
an independent, he still drives his route once
per week, keeping up with loyal customers at
independent shops and dealerships alike.
Loobey's claim to fame isn't just selling tools,
however. He has competed in multiple seasons of
the television series American Ninja Warrior, at the
time setting the record for the oldest participant to
successfully complete the second obstacle.
Before the show had an American version, Loobey and his children regularly watched the original
Japanese version. Loobey's children became interested in martial arts and decided they wanted to
begin taking classes.
"We found a martial arts school and started
going," Loobey says. "I went with them because I
kind of liked it, too. I got in shape by taking my
kids to [classes] and participating with them, and we
got pretty interested in that all through their high
school years."
When Loobey saw the American version of Ninja
Warrior, he began to wonder if he could qualify. So,
he trained, recorded and submitted an audition
video, and was chosen to compete on the show.
It may not seem obvious, but there are parallels between selling tools and competing in
a ninja obstacle course. For one, there are the
obstacles themselves.
"Being a tool distributor, you get a little more
of the ups and downs of life," Loobey says. "The
good people that pay their bill, and some that pay
somebody else's bill out of charity. And you see the
ones that, looking back you [think], 'That guy never
intended to pay me.'
"You can see in different ways that the obstacles
that you're trying to defeat, you created. If you've got
too much money on the street and too many people
aren't paying right, a lot of times you can come back
and say, 'It's because I'm too easygoing. It's because
I don't have enough of those frank conversations
with people about how [they are] going to pay me

54 Professional Distributor I August 2019 I VehicleServicePros.com

Top: John Loobey of Bristol, Tennessee, started selling Mac
Tools about 20 years ago. Above: Loobey has competed in
multiple seasons of the television series American
Ninja Warrior.

for this.' A lot of our problems have our fingerprints
on them."
Loobey also notes the sense of community is
strong in both the tool distribution world and the
American Ninja Warrior world.
"If the community is good, life is good. We all
play a role in that community, and if we're doing our
part, playing our role, there are going to be some bad
[days] and ... more good [days]."
While Loobey says his goal is to fully retire
from the industry, he admits the people and the
community aspect is something he will miss.
Instances such as a shop owner who paid off the
account of a talented, young technician prove that
the automotive industry can be a positive one in
which to build a career.
"There have been a number of circumstances like
that, that were just heartwarming," he says. "Good
people doing good things."


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Professional Distributor

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Professional Distributor

Editor's Note: A risky (and rewarding) business
Business risks that paid off
Show Me Your Truck
Most Wanted
2019 PTEN Innovation Award Winners
Sneak Peek
Product Training
Go Sell Something: You can teach an old dog new tricks ... especially if that dog is you and you want to earn more money.
In Focus Products
Diagnostic Discourse: Programming: Where did it start, and what options are available to today's technicians?
Driving Sales
Tales from the Road: Tool dealer John Loobey's love of martial arts led him to compete on American Ninja Warrior.
Professional Distributor - 1
Professional Distributor - 2
Professional Distributor - 3
Professional Distributor - Editor's Note: A risky (and rewarding) business
Professional Distributor - 5
Professional Distributor - Business risks that paid off
Professional Distributor - 7
Professional Distributor - 8
Professional Distributor - 9
Professional Distributor - 10
Professional Distributor - 11
Professional Distributor - 12
Professional Distributor - 13
Professional Distributor - Show Me Your Truck
Professional Distributor - 15
Professional Distributor - Most Wanted
Professional Distributor - 17
Professional Distributor - 2019 PTEN Innovation Award Winners
Professional Distributor - 19
Professional Distributor - 20
Professional Distributor - 21
Professional Distributor - 22
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Professional Distributor - Sneak Peek
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Professional Distributor - Product Training
Professional Distributor - 39
Professional Distributor - 40
Professional Distributor - 41
Professional Distributor - Go Sell Something: You can teach an old dog new tricks ... especially if that dog is you and you want to earn more money.
Professional Distributor - 43
Professional Distributor - In Focus Products
Professional Distributor - 45
Professional Distributor - 46
Professional Distributor - 47
Professional Distributor - Diagnostic Discourse: Programming: Where did it start, and what options are available to today's technicians?
Professional Distributor - 49
Professional Distributor - 50
Professional Distributor - 51
Professional Distributor - Driving Sales
Professional Distributor - 53
Professional Distributor - Tales from the Road: Tool dealer John Loobey's love of martial arts led him to compete on American Ninja Warrior.
Professional Distributor - 55
Professional Distributor - 56
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